This afternoon I was reading Steve A's DFW Point to Point blogging, Sweet Homebound Tailwind. Steve A made mention of the collection of downtown Fort Worth parking lots known, collectively, by many, as Sundance Square.
I then commented on Steve A's blogging, verbalizing my appreciation that someone else noticed that there is no square in Sundance Square, with the closest thing to a square being the collection of parking lots.
Now, it is very unusual in a large city's downtown for land to be used for parking lots. Usually a downtown city's land finds much higher value uses. Than parking lots.
Within a very short time of me commenting on Steve A's blog I got an email from the Marketing Director of Sundance Square, Tracy Gilmour. Tracy Gilmour kindly tried to alleviate me of my Sundance Square ignorance by telling me that Sundance Square is 35 blocks of downtown Fort Worth, with a lot of buildings being restored to their former glory and awards being given for this effort.
Well, that's nice. But, the thing is, a lot of towns have an area they call their town square. It often goes by other names, like Seattle has Westlake Center. Westlake Center is a town square.
Fort Worth has no town square. The closest thing to a town square is the parking lots across from the Reata, the Bass Performance Hall, Flying Saucer Emporium and Barnes and Noble.
If you are going to put up signs pointing people to something called "Sundance Square" you really should have something that is a town square. Without such a thing one defaults to the only thing that resembles a square, that being the downtown Fort Worth parking lots.
Maybe downtown Fort Worth should actually turn one of the parking lots into a town square and call it Sundance Square and re-name the current development project, now known as Sundance Square, to something like Sundance Downtown Re-Development Project.
It's good marketing to accurately label things.
Below is the email from Tracy Gilmour, subject line, "I have seen you post about Sundance Square before."
I would really like to give you some correct information about Sundance Square. We own 35 blocks of downtown Fort Worth. The development is entirely privately owned, not subsidized in any way by the City of Fort Worth. It was named after Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. SSQ is a collection of both new and very old buildings. Much care has been taken in restoring the buildings back to the original such as the Knights of Pythias Hall at the corner of 3rd and Main. The Building which houses the Flying Saucer at 4th and Commerce is one of the oldest in Sundance.
On Main Street we are restoring the Jarvis building front back to as close as we can to an original front. This building is considered the oldest building on Main Street. We have over 50 buldings in Sundance so it’s much more than a collection of parking lots. We are proud of the awards we have one, especially the award of excellence we received earlier this year from the Urban Land Institute. I know you like to comment on all aspects of your experiences so maybe this will give you more to write about. If you will review the write ups on sundancesquaremanagement.com it will give you a very brief summary of each building.
Sundance Square encompasses property from 2nd to 5th streets and from Lamar to Elm that is an approximate boundary as our boundaries are made up of the buildings we own.